Sit with a seasoned punter and they’d gladly tell you about the value in backing the underdog. Any moment you get a chance to win a significantly higher return on your investment, it’s worth considering, regardless of the risk.
Although betting on an average underdog is recommended only if the value is right, there have been some underdogs in the past who were below average and yet defied all odds to create sports history. The betting odds they overcame seemed insurmountable at one point, to the extent that no reasonable punter would have backed them.
However, some sports gamblers relish the thrill of hitting that once-in-a-million jackpot that can pay them thousands (or hundreds of thousands) of dollars on a long shot! Such bets are a proof that even though they are highly unlikely, miracles do happen on the sports field.
St. Louis Cardinals overcame 999 to 1 odds and won the World Series in 2011
The unthinkable happened in MLB when in 2011 St Louis Cardinals beat 999 to 1 odds and won the World Series. Let’s delve a little deeper to understand how odds became this lopsided. Cardinals were trailing by 4.5 games against the Braves, and were unlikely to get the wildcard spot. This was when Vegas-based bookies, most of which have their own reputed betting portals today, offered these odds. To throw some more light, these odds were offered as a futures bet wherein Cardinals were required to go on and win the World Series.
Braves fumbled heavily in the season’s final 15 games, while Cardinals went 11-4. This was good enough for the latter to bag the wildcard spot. However, no one knew that Cardinals were just getting started!
The World Series offered the most memorable classic in the history of baseball when Cardinals scraped through, despite being down to last strike many times in the competition, and eventually won the series in seven games.
Going back to the most important question now – Did anyone buy those 999-1 odds? Yes! A man got one better on the bookies by betting $ 250 on St Louis Cardinals, just prior to their miracle run. Resultantly, he bagged a total of $ 250,000!
Leicester City defied 5000 to 1 odds and won the English Premier League in 2016
It’s no news that English Premier League has some of the best internationally recognised soccer clubs like Chelsea, Liverpool, Manchester City, Manchester United and more. A league like that featuring all kinds of powerhouses, no thought of Leicester City going on to do the unthinkable. In fact, they were being offered at 5000 to 1 odds to win the league!
However, there was one ardent fan who decided to take his chances and bet around $ 60 (in UK pounds) on the team. Majority of punters would call that a waste of money, but that’s the reason why they indulge in such games!
Fast forward to the end of EPL season and Leicester City had created the most unlikely underdog story in the history of the Premier League. They won the championship and some lucky gamblers won wads of cash!